One-Room Challenge – Bathroom Reveal

It’s been a hot minute since I last blogged about our “fun” one-room challenges. Well, today is the day I finally have an update on our bathroom…IT’S DONE! And let me tell you, it’s been absolute hell to get to this point. Is it what we had envisioned when we first started the renovations? Nope. But it’s finally done and that is really all I can ask for at this point.

But in all honesty, it is a MASSIVE improvement from its original state. Just in case you need a reminder, this is what it looked like before…

Our beige-tiled bathroom view from the door.
Check out the tiles EVERYWHERE! The beige with a brown flower on every other tile is something from straight out of the late ’60s or early ’70s.

I definitely don’t miss those tiles, the mirror, the sink – I don’t miss any of it! But for the last five weeks, I have missed having a functional bathroom, so I’m overjoyed that it’s finally done! But why did it take so long?

Well, as I mentioned in my previous post, this renovation all started because of a leak coming from the shower faucet. After it was fixed, that same contractor was hired to do the renovation. Now, it should be mentioned that this wasn’t someone I necessarily wanted, but at the insistence of my father, we hired the company. That was our first mistake. ANYWAY, the renovations started on Monday, June 22nd and were supposed to be completed by Tuesday, June 30th. We sent the dogs away to an amazing boarding place so they wouldn’t have to be around for the majority of the demolition and we thought everything was going to be fine. So, let me take you through what became the renovation from hell…

The demolition

Demolition of our only bathroom (we have a powder room on the main floor) began bright and early on Monday. Unfortunately for me, I was still working, so I found myself taking a lot of conference calls in the basement where the noise wasn’t as bad. This part seemed to go without a hitch. Because of all the damn tiles, the total demolition time was two days. It was weird to see the bathroom completed gutted, but I was excited for what was planned.

The bathroom is gutted down to the studs
By the end of Day 2, the bathroom is completely gutted – no walls, no ceiling, no floor. The contractor has put the cement down to cure for the would-be shower tiles.

 

Putting it all back together

OK, so demolition is done and that went smoothly. Now it was time to start putting things back together again. This is where things went to hell in a handbasket. Day 1 post-demolition, the contractor and his assistant start to put up the drywall. The next day, they worked on moving the piping from its original position on the left-hand side of the shower to the right. It should be noted that we OKed this with the understanding that the drain would also be moving (this never happened!). Anyway, the following day he and his assistant return to put up the drywall, which didn’t take very long and they were gone by noon. This seemed strange, but one of many red flags came up when he said that he had another job to get to. He also mentioned that this will cause the renovation to be pushed by a day.

“That’s fine, it happens,” I thought, given that no renovation is ever perfect and they all usually go over time anyway. Besides, the following week, I would be off and could maybe help move things along…

The next few days were filled with half days, excuses and shitty, half-ass work. The contractor, who I’ll call J, laid the floor tiles incorrectly – too much glue in some places, not enough in others, and the tiles aren’t even straight. The shower area had huge gaps at the top of the tiles where they were to meet the ceiling, and the shower floor tiling faced the same issues as the rest of the bathroom floor when it came to the use of glue. Oh, I forgot to mention that he didn’t use the proper subfloor before putting on the tiles, so the floor is actually too low, which almost caused problems for the plumber who installed the toilet.

Then, the light fixture that is supposed to be hung over the vanity wasn’t centred. While he was provided all the fixtures, he never once looked at how it would be mounted and simply assumed things. The drywall had a few coats of primer and one coat of actual paint, and drywall itself was too thick in the ceiling so we had to buy a new fan holder contraption.

He quits

It’s now Friday, July 3rd, three days after we were originally told the bathroom would be completed. We gave J an earful about all the things he needed to fix and his unprofessionalism throughout this entire project. He said he’d back on Saturday to start fixing things, but also tries to bullshit us that things will be fine when it’s all done because he’s done so many projects like this. Saturday morning rolls around, J arrives bright and early to the house with his assistant only to pack up his stuff and tell me that he can’t handle the stress of being told his work isn’t good enough and that he knows what he’s doing. He says he’ll be in touch, only never to be heard from again by us. He does however have contact with my dad, who he tells that he did a bad job in our bathroom, but this was never told to me directly.

Our lifesavers

It’s still Saturday morning, I have an unfinished bathroom that is unusable. I mean there is no toilet, no vanity, some kind of semblance to a shower forming – it is a shit show! In our despair and not knowing how to proceed next, we call my parents in a panic. They rush to get us a toilet and call their plumber to get it installed. When the plumber arrives and sees the state of the bathroom, he’s flabbergasted by how poorly the renovation is done. He lists all the issues he sees with it, especially the lowered floor that was concerning because the toilet was sitting too high. Luckily, being the incredible professional he is, he was able to make it work. We booked him in to come on Monday to help with the plumbing for the vanity so we could at least have a working sink in there too while we figured out the rest.

In the meantime, we’re visiting a bunch of stores trying to figure out the bathtub/shower solution. While we initially found my dream shower at a store in Whitby, Ont., and place an order, the dream came crashing down when the contractor who would be installing it said it would be about a $12,000 job. Unfortunately, we don’t have that kind of money for just the shower, so we had to find a new solution. That’s where Bath Fitters came in and saved the day, well, eventually. Their salesperson was at our house that afternoon and

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